It’s become apparent, over the course of the protracted Aer Lingus negotiations, who is actually running the country (clue: it isn’t the government).
Vested interests like the unions are in fact dictating policy and influencing decisions that are supposed to be made for the good of the country as a whole.
In any functioning civil society, the good of the many should outweigh the good of the few, but under pressure from the unions the government are prepared to walk away from a deal that could net our impoverished country €1.4 billion, for fear that a single baggage handler may lose their job 5 years down the line.
This is gombeenism and parish pump politics at their most insidious.
The proposed IAG takeover deal is likely to increase tourism, create jobs and ultimately establish a more efficient and sustainable business in the long term but clearly the decision will succeed or fail on the issue of whether staff will keep their gold plated defined benefit pensions and perks.
Michael O’Leary, Chief Executive of Ryanair, Aer Lingus’ biggest competitor and 29.8% shareholder, regularly points to Aer Lingus staff’s archaic entitlement culture and work practices as the main barriers to the airline’s success; and with Ryanair reporting an annual profit of €522m last year compared to Aer Lingus’ €72m it’s hard to disagree with him.